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A can help you save on interest payments while you pay down debt, but these cards typically come at a cost. Most charge balance transfer fees of around 3%-5% of the transferred balance. Put another way, every $1,000 in debt you transfer can cost you between $30 and $50.
At a time when every cent counts, the ideal balance transfer credit card would feature no such balance transfer fee, as well as a $0 annual fee and a long 0% interest period to boot. Unfortunately, these “triple-zero” cards are hard to find.
In fact, balance transfer offers in general have become harder to find amid the -related economic environment. And pandemic or not, balance transfer fee or not, many of these products require excellent credit (typically FICO scores of 720 or higher) to qualify at all.
Still, it’s possible to pay down debt for less . Here are some options that can help.
Frankly, the number of cards that offer balance transfers without a balance transfer fee has always been small, and it's even smaller now.
Some regional banks and credit unions offer balance transfer cards at a lower cost, but these products come with their own limitations. Credit unions require membership, and regional banks don’t operate in every state. Check with local banks in your area to see what they offer. Here are some examples of what’s available:
Sometimes, the best feature of a credit card is that it actually exists. You may find more card options if you’re open to the idea of a balance transfer fee. Look for a 3% fee, which is on the low end of the typical range. A $0 annual fee and a long no-interest period make these cards even more valuable. Here are some examples of what’s available:
If you intend to pay down your balance in three months or less, the balance transfer fee could exceed what you’d save on interest. If that’s the case, you may be better off sticking with the card you already have.
But the longer you need to get out of debt, and the higher your current interest rate, the more beneficial a balance transfer becomes.